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A peaceful and prosperous new year

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Another year had elapsed on the tedious search for peace in Mindanao. It is as if conflict has become a way of life for the secessionist fronts and for terrorist elements embedded in them. Life cannot go on this way for the majority who, for decades now, wants to have a life as normal as the rest.

There are undebatable issues which are stark realities which the Moro Islamic Liberation Front must accept. Among these are: that the government will not allow even an inch of territory to be chipped away in favor of any liberation front; that there can only be one peace keeping force and one constitution.

That our natural resources, where are these located, are not for any group ofpeople but for the entire nation. Special resources like marine and forest resources maybe granted and administered by them provided however that these are within the autonomous region.

Autonomy maybe preserved and expanded but only where there are predominantly Muslim communities. Prior rights of non-Muslims moreover have to be respected in the same manner that rights of Muslims in territories outside of ARMM are respected.

It is foolhardy for the secessionist fronts to trifle with some rigid constitutional provisions- as this would impact on the thousands of Muslim professionals and even the ordinary citizens who just want to have a quiet and decent life. Thousands of them, many of them close kin of even the members and consultants of the negotiating panel of the MILF are presently holding important positions in the government.

We cannot forever allow countenance the condition of “unpeace” in Mindanao to prevail. For as long exists the terrorist elements and kidnap for ransom syndicates will have sanctuaries to run primordial concern of peace loving Muslims, Christians and Lumads alike: a peaceful and prosperous New Year for all.

By MW




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